Toys ‘R’ Us taps Target to fulfill online toy orders
Target has spent recent weeks promoting itself as a destination for the season’s hottest toys, which include Frozen 2 and Star Wars products as part of a recent collaboration with Disney. But some of Target’s toy sales will be coming from an unlikely source—Toys "R" Us. The Minneapolis-based retail chain and the revived toy brand announced Tuesday that Target will fulfill all product orders made on ToysRUs.com.
Indeed, consumers browsing the ToysRUs site, which relaunched this week, will see a “Buy Now” button with a Target bullseye that routes them to Target.com, where they can purchase the item. In addition, the new site includes video content and toy reviews.
As part of the partnership, Target will also “power” online sales made at the new experiential retail stores Toys "R" Us is opening this fall in Houston, Texas, and Paramus, New Jersey, according to a press release.
In a statement, Richard Barry, chief executive of Tru Kids, the 10-month-old entity behind the reborn Toys "R" Us—and a former Toys "R" Us executive—noted that the brand needed “the help of a retail industry leader.”
A Toys "R" Us spokeswoman did not return a request for details about how the sales model will work between the two companies.
Two years ago, Toys "R" Us filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and shuttered its 800 stores months later. At the beginning of 2019, however, the brand relaunched under its new Tru Kids ownership and announced plans to again open stores. This holiday season, the two 6,500-square-foot stores in Texas and New Jersey will be operated in partnership with b8ta Inc., an experiential retail services provider.
For its part, Target has focused on establishing itself as a toy leader in the wake of former competitor Toys "R" Us’ demise. It recently brokered a deal with Disney for shop-in-shops in 25 of its 1,800 stores, with an additional 40 planned for next year.
Retail experts say the Toys "R" Us deal gives Target a new edge over rivals Amazon and Walmart, which have both been vying for larger shares of the toy business.
“This initiative continues Target’s enhanced focus on the toy category,” said Charlie O’Shea, lead Target analyst for Moody’s, in an email. “Toys have always been significant traffic drivers during the holiday season and this relationship will provide Target with more weapons in its arsenal.”